Doctors Suggest TB Screening In Post-Covid Patients

After many symptoms such as high blood pressure, brain fog, and fatigue, the latest is Tuberculosis in post-covid patients. On Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recommended Tuberculosis (TB) screening for all COVID-19 positive patients and COVID-19 screening for all diagnosed TB patients.

Some reports appeared that a sudden spike in cases of Tuberculosis (TB) has been noticed among patients who were infected with COVID-19 recently. This, once again, left doctors and health experts concerned as nearly a dozen similar cases are being reported every day. States/UTs have been asked for convergence in efforts for better surveillance and case finding of TB and COVID-19, as early as August 2020.

“Apart from this, multiple advisories and guidance have also been issued by MoHFW to reiterate the need for bi-directional screening of TB-COVID and TB-ILI/SARI. The States/ UTs have been implementing the same,” read the release.

Currently, we lack sufficient evidence to suggest that there has been an increase in TB cases due to COVID-19 or due to increased case finding efforts. It is to be remembered that both Tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 are infectious and primarily attack the lungs, showing similar symptoms of cough, fever and difficulty in breathing.

“Furthermore, TB bacilli can be present in humans in a dormant state and has the potential to start multiplying when the individual’s immunity is compromised for any reason,” the release said. And it is the same with post COVID scenarios as a patient may develop decreased immunity due to the virus itself or due to the treatment, especially immune-suppressants like steroids. “SARS-CoV-2 infection can make an individual more susceptible to developing active TB disease, as TB is an opportunistic infection like black fungus,” it added.